Food & Drink

Shopper’s Dictionary: Nova lox

What is it? Nova lox is salmon that has been dry-brined in a salt cure, rinsed, then cold-smoked at close to 100 degrees. The Nova designation refers to salmon coming from Nova Scotia, but today essentially serves as an umbrella term for smoked salmon.

Different cultures cure and smoke salmon in unique ways: Scottish or Irish smoked salmon often has a peaty flavor from being smoked over whiskey-cask wood chips, while Norwegian smoked salmon tends to have a heavier smoke presence.

Regular lox is often mislabeled on menus as smoked salmon or Nova lox; it is not. Lox, from the Yiddish word laks, or salmon, is salt-cured but not smoked, sometimes resulting in a saltier flavor. A Scandinavian version called gravlax adds sugar, dill and other herbs to the cure.

Where to find it: Marky’s Gourmet (687 NE 79th St., Miami) sells a number of smoked-salmon products from $12 and up. Durham’s Tracklements & Smokery in Michigan smokes salmon in a variety of styles. Order online at

Evan S. Benn is Miami Herald food editor. On Twitter: @EvanBenn.